Why I Marched at Washington

BY: DANIELA HERNANDEZ

Comfortable shoes? Check. Layers of clothing? Check. Cleverly worded poster? Check. Millennial mentality? Check. En route to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Jan. 21 for everything and anything that is not Donald Trump.

Just a short four-hour drive from New York, a pit stop to make history. Feelings of somber and disappointment still in the air from the previous day’s event.

Even with a feeling of despair, my sister, Priscilla Hernandez, her friend, Louise Ahmann and I felt empowered. It was as if marching was the most important and most necessary thing to do in that very moment, and no one could stop us.

Halfway to Washington, D.C. means a bathroom break. Women filled the service area with their pussycat beanies and prideful faces. One woman said, "Shoutout to all the women driving to Women’s March in Washington!" An immediate applause and overwhelming woo filled the entire complex. We were not alone.

After arriving in Maryland we started our day just a few short blocks from the metro station where hundreds gathered to take the 30-minute train ride into the capital. The crowd was one with much enthusiasm. One would say that it was a powerful force, a force that should not be reckoned with.

We exited the metro, moving inch by inch because of the limited space and headed toward the area where the rally would take place. It was around 9 a.m. and all around us were smiling faces, cheering voices and determined spirits.

The crowd filled with people of all age groups. Generations of mothers, daughters and granddaughters all fighting for rights they deem basic and necessary. Posters with slogans like "Nacho Uterus" filled the sky keeping the spirits alive. Women, men and children gathered to witness what would be a true moment of history.

“This is not America,” America Ferrera, Latina actress said. “His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay.” A huge applause echoed beyond the rally stage.

Ferrera along with singer Madonna, actress Scarlett Johansson and activist Angela Davis were a few of the keynote speakers.

Toward the middle of the day, more people came to join forces. We started being packed like sardines and people were getting restless. It was about 12 p.m. and although we all cheered for the countless number of speakers, all we really wanted to do was march. It is what we came to do, but, alas, we found ourselves standing for another two hours until the march commenced and people started to make their way to the White House.

The route started at the rally stage, which was on Independence Avenue between 3rd and 4th. The route went on for about two miles and ended up at the White House where the man of the hour now considers home.

Celebrity Chrissy Teigen said in a tweet a night before, "Are all of our periods gonna sync tomorrow?" Sure, blame part of it on our hormones, but these issues were not just because of Mother Nature. These issues really hit home for every single person who attended the march.

Unfortunately, his presidency affects many minorities, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and much more. Everything he stands for is something we are not, and his presidency opens a new path for the future generations to be influenced by his actions, both good and bad. How could you not shed a tear when your future is in the hands of Trump?

Except it is not. Participating in that march and chanting made me feel like I belong and that his voice and tiny hands do not compare to the amount of power we have as Americans. We were united regardless of what other people have to say. Not just in America, but people all over the world protested and voiced their opinion on the matter. According to USA Today, an estimate of 2.6 million people marched all over the world. Marches even reached Antarctica. Who would have even guessed we would receive support there? But even the penguins sympathize with us.

The marches are over, but that does not mean we stop here. We cannot be silent for the sake of our future generations. We must stand strong and continue to donate our time to organizations that matter. We live in a bubble at California State University, Long Beach. Much of us have the same ideals and beliefs, but it is up to us to change the minds of those who do not agree with us.

Tomorrow is a new day and I will begin mine with relatively the same list. Comfortable shoes? Check. Laptop? Check. Millennial personality? Check. Determination to fight and resist Trump's presidency? Check.